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Weekly crypto news: Gamestop launches NFT marketplace

Weekly crypto news: Gamestop launches NFT marketplace

Another week has passed, and the past week (July 8, 2022 to July 15) was not too good for the crypto market. Bitcoin dropped 3.5% to €19,700 and Ethereum even dropped 10% to €1,080. There were, however, a number of altcoins such as Quant, Aave and Polygon that actually performed very well with gains above 15%.

It's not very reassuring, but other markets are also continuing their recent slide. High inflation continues and inflation forecasts are not positive either. The economy is doing badly, and so investments are being sold.

Nevertheless, the crypto world continues to run and a lot of money, time and effort is still being put into developing new technologies and ideas. For example, Gamestop, the American computer game retailer made famous by the subreddit Wall Street Bets, launched an NFT marketplace this week. Even the well-known Playboy announced it was working on a metaverse project.

You can read all about it and more below in the weekly crypto news!

Gamestop's NFT marketplace is now live

With increasing popularity of the NFT sector, more and more platforms are emerging. Recently, one such organization, Gamestop, launched its newest NFT marketplace. The platform focuses on low fees and high speed. The platform will also allow users to view NFT statistics and provide NFT education.

The NFTs listed on the platform can be seen on the home screen. Currently, there are a total of 236 digital collectibles on the website. The platform has only just started and will register more collections over time. Currently, OpenSea is the largest marketplace in the NFT space.

Gamestop joined forces with Immutable X, a layer-2 scaling solution, in February 2021. That is also the blockchain on which this NFT marketplace is now running.

Playboy 'MetaMansion' in the works

Playboy is planning to expand its Web3 offering with the launch of a MetaMansion. According to an announcement made last Monday, this virtual version of the Playboy mansion will feature a host of gaming, social and programmed events, along with future non-fungible token (NFT) collectible releases from the company.

The iconic "lifestyle brand" Playboy has joined forces with NFT-based Metaverse gaming platform The Sandbox to launch the MetaMansion.

The MetaMansion also builds on Playboy's Rabbitars NFT project, which consists of 11,953 tokenized bunny avatars that went on sale in October 2021 for about $800 each. Holders of these NFTs may soon have access to exclusive experiences in the virtual mansion. However, the details and launch date are not yet detailed.

The Sandbox also stated that users would be able to obtain adjacent NFT lands from the MetaMansion later this quarter. If we may rely on recent history, the land could be in high demand, given that someone paid $450,000 to be Snoop Dogg's neighbor in The Sandbox-based Snoopverse in December.

Playboy first dipped into NFTs last April after it released a series of tokenized centerfolds through Nifty Gateway. While some brands dip their toes into NFTs for what looks like a quick cash grab, it seems Playboy is here for the long haul, given that it is launching the MetaMansion amid a declining market.

Shiba announces stablecoin

The lead developer behind Shiba Inu (SHIB) Shytoshi Kusama announced a new update to the meme coin community, with plans to launch a stablecoin for the SHIB ecosystem, a reward token, and a collectible card game for its metaverse.

Kusama admitted he was "concerned after seeing other stable tokens collapse and billions of dollars completely wiped from the market," and teased the launch of SHI, an experimental stablecoin protocol.

If all goes as planned, SHI stablecoin will be launched as early as this year, the developer said.

"We have seen independent development from a group of developers in our decentralized network. They have submitted a version of SHI that seems to avoid the problems found in other moonshots," Kusama wrote hinting at the dramatic collapse of Terra's UST stablecoin in May.

The Shiba Inu leader also provided updates on the meme coin's future metaverse. Referring to the Shibarium, Kusama said:

"As of now, everything is still on track and we are moving as fast as we can to complete this important part of our ecosystem."

He added that the project has "brought in a number of new developers that we have met over the past year to help us with the UX/UI and redesign of our web portals to complement this project."

However, the release date for the metaverse beta phase, which will be open to the public, remains unknown.

Institutional interest in Ethereum increases as 'the Merge' approaches

Ethereum(ETH) prices have fallen again over the past week, but there are signs that professional investors are warming up to the cryptocurrency as the long-awaited Merge approaches.

In its weekly report on fund flows of digital assets, fund manager CoinShares reported that Ethereum-based products saw inflows for the third consecutive week. There were inflows of $7.6 million for institutional Ethereum funds, while those for Bitcoin (BTC) continued to outflow with a loss of $1.7 million.

Referring to the Ethereum funds, CoinShares stated, "The inflows suggest a modest reversal in sentiment, after enduring 11 consecutive weeks of outflows that brought 2022 outflows to a peak of $460M." It added that the change in sentiment may be due to the increasing likelihood that the Merge will occur later this year.

The Merge is a long-awaited Ethereum upgrade that changes the consensus mechanism from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS). It is currently preparing for a final test run, and the actual Merge is expected for October.

In late June, institutional investors began putting capital back into Ethereum-based funds, during a week of record outflows of $423 million, the majority from Bitcoin-based funds.

For the period, there were total inflows of $14.6 million, but short Bitcoin funds accounted for $6.3 million, suggesting that investors are still bearish on Bitcoin.

This was once again the main crypto news of the week. Earlier this week we also wrote about Reddit releasing an NFT collection. Read more about this in the article "Reddit launches blockchain-based avatar collection."

Luc Smits van Oyen
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